At the convergence of the fields of social work, urban planning, and policymaking, the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs identifies and develops emerging areas of research and teaching and cultivates leaders and change agents who advance solutions to society's most pressing problems.
The Right to Education Act in 2009 guaranteed access to free primary education for all children in India ages 6-14. This paper investigates whether national trends in educational data changed around the time of this law using household surveys and administrative data. We document four trends: (1) School-going increases after the passage of RTE, (2) Test scores decline dramatically after 2010, (3) School infrastructure appears to be improving both before and after RTE, and (4) The number of students who have to repeat a grade falls precipitously after RTE is enacted, in line with the official provisions of the law.
This paper tests the common belief that subsidised housing contributes to higher crime rates. To do this, panel data on over 200 US cities are used and fixed effects models are estimated to control for unobserved differences between cities that may affect both voucher use and crime. Additionally, models are estimated that focus on the suburbs, to see if the steady increase in vouchers there has had any effect on crime. In cities, it is found that vouchers have a weak, negative relationship with violent crime rates, although these estimates are not particularly robust. In suburban areas, there is no observed relationship between vouchers and crime, suggesting that controversies in those communities blaming voucher households for elevated crime rates are misguided. © 2013 Urban Studies Journal Limited.
Structural Inequities and Social Networks Impact Hormone Use and Misuse Among Transgender Women in Los Angeles County.
In order to reduce gender dysphoria and combat stigma, transgender women often affirm their gender through social and medical transition, which may include cross-sex hormone therapy. This study examined associations between medically monitored hormone use and hormone misuse (non-prescribed hormone use including "fillers"), structural inequities (access to housing, health insurance, and income), and social network dynamics among 271 transgender women in Los Angeles. Hormone use status was coded trichotomously (hormone use, hormone misuse, no hormone use), and robust multinomial logistic regression as well as novel social network analysis was conducted to examine associations. Results demonstrated that younger, African-American/Black transgender women were most likely to engage in hormone misuse compared to transgender women who were older or non-African-American/Black. One-third of the sample reported sex work as a main source of income, and this group was more likely to misuse hormones than those with another primary source of income. Transgender women with access to stable housing and health insurance were most likely to engage in medically monitored hormone use. Social network analysis revealed that transgender women with a greater number of hormone-using network alters were most likely to misuse hormones, but that using the Internet to find transgender friends mitigated this association. Results demonstrate the multifaceted risk profile of transgender women who use and misuse hormones, including that social networks play an important role in hormone usage among transgender women.
This study examines variations in saving behavior among poor families enrolled in a Child Savings Account program for orphaned and vulnerable school-going children in Uganda. We employ multilevel analyses using longitudinal data from a cluster-randomized experimental design. Our analyses reveal the following significant results: (1) given the average number of months during which the account was open (18 months), families saved on average, USD 54.72, which, after being matched by the program (2:1 match rate) comes to USD 164.16-enough to cover approximately five academic terms of post-primary education; (2) children's saving behavior was not associated with quality of family relations; it was, however, significantly associated with family financial socialization; (3) family demographics were significantly associated with children's saving behavior in the matched Child Savings Account program; and (4) children enrolled in some schools saved better compared to children enrolled in other schools within the same treatment group.
Applying a Family-Level Economic Strengthening Intervention to Improve Education and Health-Related Outcomes of School-Going AIDS-Orphaned Children: Lessons from a Randomized Experiment in Southern Uganda.
Children comprise the largest proportion of the population in sub-Saharan Africa. Of these, millions are orphaned. Orphanhood increases the likelihood of growing up in poverty, dropping out of school, and becoming infected with HIV. Therefore, programs aimed at securing a healthy developmental trajectory for these orphaned children are desperately needed. We conducted a two-arm cluster-randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of a family-level economic strengthening intervention with regard to school attendance, school grades, and self-esteem in AIDS-orphaned adolescents aged 12-16 years from 10 public rural primary schools in southern Uganda. Children were randomly assigned to receive usual care (counseling, school uniforms, school lunch, notebooks, and textbooks), "bolstered" with mentorship from a near-peer (control condition, n = 167), or to receive bolstered usual care plus a family-level economic strengthening intervention in the form of a matched Child Savings Account (Suubi-Maka treatment arm, n = 179). The two groups did not differ at baseline, but 24 months later, children in the Suubi-Maka treatment arm reported significantly better educational outcomes, lower levels of hopelessness, and higher levels of self-concept compared to participants in the control condition. Our study contributes to the ongoing debate on how to address the developmental impacts of the increasing numbers of orphaned and vulnerable children and adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa, especially those affected by HIV/AIDS. Our findings indicate that innovative family-level economic strengthening programs, over and above bolstered usual care that includes psychosocial interventions for young people, may have positive developmental impacts related to education, health, and psychosocial functioning.
American attitudes toward transportation planning have recently undergone significant change. For three decades after the end of World War II, public policy emphasized the construction of new highway and transit facilities in order to remove the backlog of needs which resulted from the combined effects of depression, a war economy continued urban growth, and accelerating automobile ownership. For the most part, there was consensus among transportation policymakers that their primary goal was to accommodate growth by constructing facilities which would have adequate capacity to handle future demand. It was understood that land use patterns and economic development were the sources of traffic, yet there was general agreement that transportation policy should aim to accommodate forecast land use and economic growth rather than to regulate them in order to control traffic.